Last year, for our International Week, we sent home a square of colored construction paper to all of the students at our elementary school with the instructions to “share something about your family’s culture: something you celebrate together, something you enjoy to do together, something that represents you and your family.” We got a lot of positive feedback that lots of the kids worked with their parents to come up with what they thought represented their family (I know that we did!). We gave each class a different color, and then put all of the classes in a grade together to make a quilt:
What’s great about a collaborative project such as this, is that the entire school can participate (K through 5th), and the colorful, school-wide display unites the students and staff. As kids walked through the hallways, they were admiring other quilt squares, and marveling at the details that some of the kids put into their squares. I wish I would have taken more pictures- some of the squares were incredible!!! The kids were allowed to use colored pencils, markers, crayons, cut out pictures from magazines, use real photographs, words, images- whatever they wanted to use to represent their families. The older grades had the kids write out a paragraph on the backs explaining their choices. The younger grades had the kids get up in front of the class and talk about what images the chose and why.
What I loved was their ability to mix the cultures they were part of. For example, this child appears to be Puerto Rican, but also belongs to Texas culture (evidenced of the rodeo pictures and Texas flag and map). There were quilt squares that showed scenes of Eid alongside a football and an American flag; squares divided into parts showing multiple ethnicities like Mexico and Chinese; squares that showed a Christmas tree and a Buddha.
The end product are diversity quilts that are colorful and extremely detailed, showing the intricate cultural fabric from which our school and community is woven. Students can pick out others’ squares in their class (because each class has the same color) and pick out their grades overall quilt, and also enjoy the differences between each grade. We hung up the diversity quilts during International Week, and during the Open House families were able to view the quilts that lined the hallways. It was such a wonderful representation of our school, and visual depiction of how distinct traditions can coexist beautifully side-by-side.
Our Geography Stars Program is a year-long program to expand the geographic knowledge of your students. Teachers will find all resources necessary to easily incorporate information about 35 countries into their day, including a power-point presentation, map quizzes, a letter home template, country of the week posters, a continent booklet, teacher answer keys, passport booklets and stamps, and a certificate of completion for students. It’s an amazing resource! Check it out now >
We also offer our original Passport Booklet and Stamps separately at our TPT store. Students each get their own passport, which features inspirational quotes, and teachers can print the stamps out on paper or Avery labels. As students visit the different stations of the event, they can fill their own passports with stamps! The product also includes 8.5×11 posters. Go now! >